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"The planes were strafing could hear metal hitting the ship...and then we realized we were really at war." (Audio interview, 8:25)

   Ralph C. Nash
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War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Coast Guard
Unit: USSCGC Shoshone; USSCGC Taney; USSCGC Tiger; USS Philadelphia
Service Location: South Pacific
Rank: Chief Boatswain's Mate
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Attracted to the Coast Guard by its reputation as the oldest continuous seagoing service, Ralph Chester Nash departed for Hawaii in 1939 to serve aboard the USCGC Tiger. Patrolling the waters outside of Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7th, he and his crew spotted a small submarine; they chased it with no success. In the moments before the first wave of Japanese airplanes flew overhead, the Tiger came under fire from the “mother” submarine stationed out at sea. After the attack, Nash spent the remainder of the war escorting troop and ammunitions ships through the South Pacific, protecting them from enemy submarines.

Interview (Audio)
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 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (2 items)
Poor job market at the time he graduated from high school; enlisting in the Coast Guard; volunteering to go to Hawaii; after Pearl Harbor attack, escorting ships through the South Pacific theater. (01:46) On duty and on watch the morning of the attack; encountering a possible sub while on patrol; following the sub, but losing it; all of a sudden, shells were coming in from out in the ocean; zigzagging across the harbor; strafing. (04:37) 

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  October 26, 2011
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